Protecting Your Assets / Absconding or Hiding Assets

Going through a divorce can often bring out the worst in people. Many people go into “panic mode” and make irrational decisions, ones that they would never make in any normal circumstance. Going on a sudden spending spree or trying to hide money or assets upon the filing and service of a divorce can hinder the process, force you to incur both more time and money on the divorce, and possibly have the Court ordering you to pay your spouse’s attorneys’ fees or other sanctions for such behavior.

If you know you’re getting divorced soon, try to be conservative with your spending, minimize incurring new debts, and do not attempt to move monies around to hide them from your spouse. In every divorce filed in Arizona, the Court automatically issues a Preliminary Injunction which orders the parties not to attempt to hide earnings or other community property from each other, not to take out loans or additional mortgages against community property, and not to sell, transfer, or dispose of community assets. To refresh your memory, you can re-visit our previous blog on that subject here. The Preliminary Injunction is not a total “freeze” of the community assets and monies as it DOES allow each spouse to use community funds to pay their normal living expenses (ie., utilities, food, car payments, etc.) as well as their attorneys’ fees in the divorce.

If you believe that your spouse has violated the Preliminary Injunction, has “wasted” community monies on his/her infidelity/affair or through excessive gambling, drugs or other illicit activities, you can make a claim for reimbursement on your one-half share of those funds in a divorce. You also may have a claim for reimbursement in the event that your spouse has attempt to hide or abscond with community monies or assets. It is important to know all of you and your spouse’s finances, assets, and accounts so that any such assets can be documented and accounted for even if the other spouse attempts to hide them.

If you find yourself, a friend or a loved one are in need of assistance and help protecting your assets in a divorce, please call OWENS & PERKINS at 480.994.8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.